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Cleaning an oil dirty stone


#1

To clean an oil-stone you don’t do the following steps;

  1. steam off the surface.

  2. drop it into your ultra-sonic cleaner.

  3. keep wiping the stone clean with a rag.

So how can you clean off the surface from many months of steel being
impregnated into the open pores?

Get some lighter-fluid and very liberally pour this liquid unto the
surface. Get a magnet and gently run the magnet over the lighter
fluid, again lightly * touching the stone *. You are now going to see
that all of the metal filings are now going to be rising up, and off
to the stone. This can be repeated as often as you wish.

STEAM under pressure forces any metal deeper into the stone:

Water a.k.a. steam w/ oil do not mix well at all:

Wiping only forces any metal also deeper into the pores of the
stone.

Gerry Lewy


#2
To clean an oil-stone you don't do the following steps;
1) steam off the surface.
2) drop it into your ultra-sonic cleaner.
3) keep wiping the stone clean with a rag. 

With traditional sharpening stones, oil stones, arkansas stones, etc,
this is of course true. But if you happen to be using things like the
synthetic ruby stones (gesswein and others), or diamond sharpening
stones, they’re not porous. They clean right up in the ultrasonic.
Quick and easy. Steam if you like, but that’s usually overkill.

Peter


#3

The major problem with a Ruby oil stone is two fold.

  1. When you are lightly grinding the graver on the stone, little
    amounts of metal are then being removed…to where? The are then
    being deposited back into the surface of the stone, or under constant
    use…deeper into the stone again.This action is compounded that
    after a while you are only gliding the graver on steel shards…not
    reshaping or grinding any more!!!

  2. I have had experience with this Ruby stone, for what we are doing
    is to re-face the graver.This stone is a tad too fine, but it can be
    used in lieu of “polishing papers” (to a degree).

To the previous writer on this Ruby topic, every stone has its place
and use. After a while you can decide which is better for you.

Gerry Lewy


#4

Gerald, the ruby stones are available in different grits. The two I
use are a coarse one that cuts a surface on the graver fairly
quickly, and a fine one that is indeed, as you say, a good substitute
for polishing papers, but differs in that, being very flat, your
graver surface can also remain flatter than is sometimes the case
with, say, 4/0 paper. The fine ruby stones do cut faster than the
papers. It’s easy to refine a point already shaped with the coarse
stones, on the fine one, despite the difference in coarseness.

As to grindings getting imbedded in the stone, well, sort of. The
things are quick and easy to clean when they do get a bit dirty, and
using a tad more oil keeps the grindings “floating” a bit too. I
don’t find the residue from use to be a problem at all.

The big advantage of the ruby stones is simply their durability and
hardness. They’re dense enough that even years of use don’t damage
the flatness of their surfaces. The ones on my bench have been in use
now for well over 20 years, and remain as fast cutting and flat and
true as when I bought them.

Now, I’ll grant, a good traditional stone is probably a little bit
faster cutting. That open grain structure tends to do that. And being
porous, they’re more self lubricating what with absorbed oil and all.
But they get grooved, dished, worn, etc, with use. The ruby stones
simply don’t seem to do so.

But of course, much of this is a matter of taste and preference. If
you’re used to using traditional sharpening stones, the ruby stones
might feel a little unfamiliar or odd, and the reverse is true if
you’re used to the ruby stones, or yet other systems, like diamond
sharpening “stones” (really fast cutting, and can be used with
carbide gravers too. But might not be as long lasting. Depends on
type and how treated, etc. )

cheers
Peter Rowe


#5
To the previous writer on this Ruby topic, every stone has its
place and use. After a while you can decide which is better for
you. 

I would like to make a stronger observation. If we consider 2
variables, one is number of pagers in jewellery tools catalogues;
another variable is the quality of jewellery been produced - there
is an obvious and inverse relationship! The more pages, and by
implication the more gadgets, the quality is less and less. Anybody
can verify this relationship by comparing jewellery tools catalogues
of early 1900 and the current ones.

The lesson we should draw from that is - one should never try to
substitute a tool for a skill.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#6

Gerry,

Not all ruby bench stones are the same. The one I purchased 15 years
ago (at an insane price) is a medium cut like an india stone.
Despite much abuse with cobalt steel and carbide it is still dead
flat. Oil the stone and no imbedded metal, forget the oil and a bit
of concentrated nitric acid will clean it up. I have used really fine
ruby stones, close to an arkansas and agree they are not really
worth the bother.

jeffD
Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing
http://www.gmavt.net/~jdemand


#7

I have no expertise in sharpening gravers but have some experience in
sharpening tools and cleaning oil stones is also an issue among
woodworkers. I remember reading about how someone could get a “scary
sharp” edge on wood plane blades by using fine grit wet/dry
sandpaper glued to pieces of plate glass. The author used fine
wet/dry sand paper he bought at the local auto parts store used for
auto body work. But we jewelers/metalsmith have probably the same
sand paper or better sitting in a drawer somewhere.

Just an idea. To quote and old boss I once had, “I’ve got lots of
ideas. Not all of them are good ones.”

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
rockymountainwonders.com


#8
The lesson we should draw from that is - one should never try to
substitute a tool for a skill. 

Well said, Leonid. Tools can be addictive. And not having the right
tools can make a job more difficult or impossible. But the most
important tool any of us have is between our ears, and a skilled
jeweler (or for that matter, workers in any field) can do good work
with often a fairly small set of tools, as well as being able to do
the job with other than just a single fixed set of tools. The tools
might make for an impressive looking workshop, but they don’t make
the jeweler.

Peter Rowe


#9

Rick, et all ! I frown on the word “sandpaper” but instead use the
two specific words “Emery, and Polishing” papers. Each of them are
used in separate instances.

“Emery” paper is used to initially remove any rough markings on the
graver-steel or gold. These types are generally used primarily in
the grades of 220 - 280 grit. These are otherwise known Emery paper
#1 and #2.

Now for the Polishing papers, I use only two with a grit of ( 2/0)
1200 grit and then (4/0) a grit of 2000. But in this instance I get
my polishing paper of #4/0 and rub graphite in this finer paper.
This will in turn transform the rubbed areas into a grit of 2500++.
This new and modified grit is called a #6/0++ but it can’t be found
anywhere…

Gerry!


#10

I have some high quality older abrasive stones which have become
glazed or polished over. I need to remove the polish and abrade the
surfaces to restore the tooth.

My first thought was to use a 400 - 600 grit abrasive and lap them
one against the others. The stones in question are (old, large, and
well kept). I would welcome any ideas on this subject

Respectfully Yours, Robb.


#11
My first thought was to use a 400 - 600 grit abrasive and lap them
one against the others. The stones in question are (old, large,
and well kept). I would welcome any ideas on this subject 

What kind of stones? In my woodworking days, I’ve lapped water
stones on carbide paper, on a sheet of plate glass for flatness.

Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ


#12

Hi Robb,

My first thought was to use a 400 - 600 grit abrasive and lap them
one against the others. The stones in question are (old, large,
and well kept). I would welcome any ideas on this subject 

I use a lapidary diamond lap on a GRS powerhone. I use a 260 grit
and a 600 grit, one on each side of the stone. Doesn’t take more than
a minute or two to dress both sides of an Arkansas stone. Works great
on ruby stones too, I use a 1200 grit lap with no power applied to
dress my graver polishing stone, which it seldom needs. To do this
with a large stone, you might need a larger lap, and they can get
pricey. Most of my stones are standard bench stones or smaller and at
least 80% of the stone is in contact with the lap at any given time.
Just keep it moving to avoid grooves.

My take on ruby stones is that there is no better stone or method
for polishing a graver. They retain flatness and tooth far longer
than any other type of polishing medium suitable for a graver, mine
is over twenty five years old and works just like new. Polishing a
graver belly properly is critical to quality engraving, or even stone
setting and bright cutting. It’s what causes the sparkle that makes
outstanding engraving and bright cutting stand out from the
also-rans.

Leonid is right when he says one should not substitute a tool for a
skill, but a fine tool in the hands of someone that is skilled in
it’s use is one of the things that makes a good goldsmith a great
goldsmith. A ruby bench stone is one such tool.

Dave Phelps
precisionplatinumjewelry.com


#13

Robb,

My first thought was to use a 400 - 600 grit abrasive and lap them
one against the others. The stones in question are (old, large,
and well kept). I would welcome any ideas on this subject 

If you are going to true up a bench stone, the standard lapping
procedure is to use a loose grit slurry such as silicon-carbine on a
piece of plate glass.

If you use a piece of paper, or better yet a piece of plastic such
as mylar you can get a better result as the loose grit won’t roll
around as much as it would on just the glass.

Be sure to use either water or oil in the slurry depending on the
needs of the stone in question.

Also, when you are satisfied with the surface condition of the
stone, be sure to rinse thoroughly with either water or oil. Again,
depending on the stone in question.

You can use one stone against another to do the same job, but they
must be two different grades of stone, use the same lubricant and be
completely rinsed when you are done.

Good luck.
Frank